Lionel Cox Trophy

with No Comments

Lionel Cox Trophy Tournament is an inter-county tournament comprising of ten counties across the East region of England. It is the biggest event of its kind played across 24 courts, involving over 150 players.

The first day our players were faced with incredibly difficult conditions. Wind and heavy downpours meant we were on and off court and struggled to gain momentum.

Our 10u teams played on the low bouncing astro courts and were given some tactical advice from the coaching team on how to deal with these courts and what to be aware of in windy conditions.

12 & Under Girls

Team: Maria Ustic, Athina Schlepphorst and Juliette Pinner

Playing on the clay courts, our 12u girls defeated their opponents, Cambridgeshire 2-1, wins coming from Maria & Athina; Juliette played a great game but narrowly lost 10-4 in the Match Tie Break (MTB).

12 & Under Boys

Team: Django Thompson, John Cairns and Henry Brewer

The 12u boys were against a tough Beds side and we lost this fixture 3-0. John Cairns came closest to securing a win for Oxon, losing 12-10 in the MTB.

10 & Under Boys

Team: Benedek Dilks, Daniel Gifford and Blake Hunter

Our 10u boys had their varsity match first, eventually losing 3-0 to a strong Cambs side. Some great efforts by all three of our boys with Daniel coming closest to securing a set with a 3-5 2-4 defeat at number 2.

10 & Under Girls

Team: Sonia Chiorean, Sophie Hale and Miriam Aldred

The 10u girls team had a great team bond off the court and some great pictures of the girls enjoying their time off the court were posted to the Tennis Oxfordshire Twitter account and it was lovely to see the girls so supportive of each other. Their first match was against local rivals Berkshire with some amazing points played by all three girls. The 10s were playing sudden death deuce so quite a few games in this fixture were decided with a golden point. Sonia lost 3-5 2-4, Sophie lost 1-4 0-4 and Mim got Oxon’s win with a 5-3 5-3 win.

9 & Under Girls

Team: Aneesa Zameel, Anna Cairns and Eleanor Thresh

Our 9u girls team were playing on the Saturday and played best of three tie break (first to 7 with a 2 clear advantage). In the group stages we played Cambs, Bucks, Northants and Essex. Our girls team loved the challenge of playing some of the best girls in the region and got better and better with each match.  Their confidence grew, shot selection improved and smiles became bigger, despite some tough defeats. Their group stage results were 3-0 L (Cambs), 3-0 L(Bucks), 2-1 L (Northants) and 3-0 L (Essex). A special mention must go to Anna Cairns for collecting our singles win in the group stages in an epic battle  7-4  5-7 7-5 against their number 2 player.

This meant we were playing against Norfolk in the play-off match. The fantastic news is that all three of our girls won their matches! Aneesa won 7-4 7-3, Anna won 7-4 7-5 and Eleanor won 11-9 5-7 7-5. A decisive 3-0 win for Oxfordshire meaning a final finish position of 9th.


Day 2

All matches on Saturday late afternoon were suspended due to severe rain. The clay courts would need to dry out overnight. Oxfordshire had a couple of players still to complete a match and they would need to come back the next morning to finish the job. The second day of play saw much improved conditions.

Our order of play was as following for the first matches on Sunday: 10u girls V Hertfordshire, 10u boys V Hertfordshire, 12u Girls V Bedfordshire and 12u boys V Northants.

10 & Under Girls

The 10u girls started against  a very strong Herts side. Sonia was playing a girl ranked very highly in the country and took the second set 4-1 to force a MTB which was to be finished on the Sunday. A really exciting tie break to witness with Sonia going ahead early on. Unfortunately Sonia eventually lost 10-7 but can be really proud of pushing her opponent all the way. Sophie and Mim competed in every point and gave their all but we lost this fixture 3-0.

10 & Under Boys

The 10u boys also played Herts first thing – the pre-tournament favourites to lift the Lionel Cox for a second consecutive year.  Benedek played Pavana, Daniel played Rhys and Blake played Kaaviyan. All of their team are training 8+ hours a week. We couldn’t have asked more of our boys. I was impressed with their determination and never give up attitude. It was a learning experience for all, our players and parents to see what standards are out there. Blake had the closest score line on the day.

12 & Under Boys

Our 12u boys played Northants first thing on Sunday morning. Henry Brewer went on court first and gave everything against a strong Northants number 3 player. The game looked closer than the score with some great trading from the baseline from Henry. His opponent varied his game plan and had too much for Henry in the end. John at number 2 was second on court. John and his opponent had some amazing rallies with John’s opponent eventually winning 5-3 4-2. Django playing at number one had an incredibly close first set, just coming off second best 5-3. Django’s match was decided with a MTB – eventually  Northampton won 10-7. A great team effort against Northants.

9 & Under Boys

Team: George Ramsay, Zane Gardner and Sebastian De Lloyd

Our 9u boys team played on Sunday and played against Berkshire, Norfolk, Hertfordshire, Northants & Essex, in that order.  Although losing 3-0 in all of our matches the boys (George, Zane & Sebastian) gave a great account of themselves and never gave up. This work ethic bodes well for the boys going forwards and the more competition they can play the more this will help their development on the court.  Seb had an epic match v the Essex number 3, going down 12-10 in the decider. George and Zane had some very tough opponents, most of them being orange 1* and playing consistently in grade 3 and 2 competitions.

12 & Under Girls Final

Our 12u girls were looking very competitive, winning all of their matches and we just needed a win against Essex to secure first place in our box.

Our 12u girls had made it through to the final after convincingly beating Bedfordshire 3-0. All three of our girls performed to their best. We only dropped two games in all three rubbers. This set us up playing for the gold/ silver medal against the home county of Hertfordshire.  Number 1, Maria was to play against Erin, Athina played Jody and Juliette played against Marelie. All of the matches were high quality with all three players noticeably making improvements to their game since last year.

We lost the final 2-1 against Herts. Athina registered our win 10-7 in the MTB. A huge well done to the three girls over the two days. To finish second with the calibre of players and counties is a great result.

A mention must be made to all the parents who supported all of the Oxfordshire teams (in the freezing cold!). It was evident to see we had a great team spirit across all of the age groups. Our coaching team of Lucy Brown, Olly Carr, Sophie Marriot & Andy Aitken did a fantastic job all weekend supporting our players and getting them physically and mentally prepared for matches.

We look forward to the event in 2020!

Final positions:

  • 9U G = 9th                                                                                                                   
  • 9U B = 10th
  • 10U G = 8th
  • 10U B = 9th
  • 12U G = 2nd
  • 12U B = 10th

 Tom Francis